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November 22, 1985

Doctors; Actors

Author Affiliations

Bay City, Tex

JAMA. 1985;254(20):2895. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360200045022

To the Editor.—  I enjoyed Gabriela Radulescu's1 essay in the June 7 issue, but I have sad news. Precedent for the actor-as-expert lies not with television, but with that other comedic institution—the US Congress. It was there several years ago that actor Jack Klugman testified on "orphan drugs." His qualifications were that orphan drugs had been featured on his television show. The art form was raised to a higher level recently with the testimony of a trio of farm policy experts: Jane Fonda, Sissy Spacek, and Jessica Lange. (Ms Fonda is also an authority on foreign policy and nuclear power.)On second thought, I guess it did start with TV; I just remembered the founding father, Robert Young. He doesn't need to say, "I'm not a doctor, but..." No one would believe it, anyway.The key thing is to visualize the reverse of all this in our era of